Been working on the amazing Secret Cinema this past week, hence the radio silence. Before the movie (Blade Runner) we played the amazing Bjork ‘All Is Full Of Love’ video, which still utterly astounds me, what, 11 years later?
It’s a total cliche to say it of course, but this really is what music videos should be.
(Oh - and Blade Runner is as incredible as it always was. If you’ve not seen it in a few years, the Final Cut has rocked up now. And the Tyrell death scene is as grim as it always was. Ew.)
I Blame Coco - Self Machine
Very nice song. Although maybe fair to say she’s channelling her dad a bit vocal-wise?
In any event, certainly an intriguing effort with some mesmerising, dream-like slo-mo. And, er, a big plastic sheet that flies up. No, I’m not sure either but then I suspect that’s not really the point…
Now it’s not strictly music videos as such, but it’s music and visual stuff, and the bloke involved has done stuff with music videos and anyway, it’s my blog…
Last Saturday I toddled off to the Barbican with my good friend Jools as, thanks to an opportune glance sideways on the tube in Angel station, I saw what I’d somehow managed to miss for ages - a poster for the latest Michael Clark Company show come, been and gone. For those who haven’t heard of him - Michael Clark is a ballet dancer and choreographer who doesn’t exactly do things by the book. For example, one of his early works was set to The Fall, one of his primadonnas ended up dancing topless for 20 minutes during his last show, and Kate Moss is the company patron. We’re talking rock-star circles here. The short version is, I’d seen the company before, Jools hadn’t, neither of us ‘do’ ballet, come, been and gone is set to the music of David Bowie and his contemporaries and so off we went.
In short - the show is incredible.
A bit longer - everything you expect from ‘ballet’ (tm) is turned on its head. And it’s exactly what should happen. The dancing is absolutely magnificient - and on more than one occasion more than a little pervy, in fact it’s safe to say the entire thing is just outright sexy. And yes, that extends to the actual dancers as well. There’s not a lot to do other than just watch, and be entranced by the moves that are clearly based in classical training but at the same time couldn’t have been created at any time other than now. There’s no point my trying to intellectualise it because that’s not the point - it’s just dream-like, mesmerising and sexy as hell.
Speaking of sexy, no ballet show is anywhere near as cutting-edge with its costumes as this one. Aside from the cropped leather jackets during the inevitable Heroes routine - amazing - I also had my eye on one mint green body suit with the most fantastic arm fringes I think I’ve ever seen. Seriously, this needs to happen in my life. Not to mention the pre-Gaga costumes to be found elsewhere, and, oh yes, the topless boys with patent silver leggings and matching nipple pads? (It wasn’t topless girls. That was last time.)
And of course the music - Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and a whole final section dedicated to Bowie, including the aforementioned Heroes accompanied by the video projected behind. I’d only just managed to dislodge it from my head after the Ashes to Ashes finale - and now it’s back there. Not that I’m complaining. Aside from the video, there wasn’t much in the way of video glory, but there was a notable Warhol-esque quick-fire montage at one point. Which seemed to linger longer on the word ‘anal’ in huge writing than anything else. Yup, fairly standard.
All in all, if you fancy a look at something undeniably different, done by the master of being contrary, make sure you catch this one - if not at its final Barbican night tomorrow, then on its travels.
The alternative, altogether ‘happier’ version of the Gaga Machine’s attempt at orgyism. I’m sure the Daily Mail wants everyone to be all ‘ooooh, look at the depravity, isn’t it all so sordid and CONTROVERSIAL?!’. Well, no it isn’t really, it’s just a nice video, well done and beautifully photographed (as if you’d expect anything else from Joseph Kahn?). Besides which, it’s kind of hard to get offended by a video where there’s so many utterly beautiful people, of all creeds and colours, getting their kecks off in downtown LA.
And I want to know how they did that thing with the slow-mo horse and the freeze-framed. If nothing else, that’s just gorgeous.
(Now, hurry up and leak the Tim Rice-Oxley song, yes Kylie?)
I should be offended by the ‘Alejandro’ video. I want to be offended. Frankly after the ‘Telephone’ video I feel it’s my right to be offended. But in amongst the leather bras with machine guns for nipples, the very muscly male dancers wearing vaguely Nazi-esque outfits paired with stilettos, the not entirely necessary (but also, let’s face it, entirely expected) ‘interpretive dance’ sex grinding and the blatant quasi-religious imagery both on several beds and in what I think is supposed to be an orgy, again in I-am-a-tree dancing format, the only thing I can think of to say is:
I wish I had this dude’s legs.
The problem when you’ve got a reputation for always topping yourself is that sooner or later, you’re going to hit the ceiling.
(Disclaimer: thanks to frankly gorgeous photography and costumes it’s still better than 95% of everything else out there)
BUG is always brilliant, and their UNKLE retrospective on Friday, in honour of new album Where Did The Night Fall, was no exception.
Aside from the always brilliant videos and eye-wateringly hilarious ‘input’ from the Youtube community (seriously worth the price of admission alone), those of us lucky enough to get tickets were lucky enough to see what I think was the world premiere of Saviours and Angels, a triptych of short films/music videos directed by Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton, The Cottage). Very beguiling, and manages to turn the well-trodden road of Eastern European sex trafficking into something far weirder. I don’t know if it’s likely to go up on Youtube, at least in full - the second part is a proper NSFW job - but if you can find it, it’s definitely well worth checking out. Not least because I’d like someone to discuss it with to try and figure out what the hell it’s all about.
In the meantime, these were my two favourite videos from Friday. Um, the Eye for an Eye one is similarly NSFW. Or children, despite its initial visuals. Just trust me on this and don’t argue, okay?
Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition v2.0
There are some videos that just put an unnecessarily silly grin on your face. Not necessarily because they’re funny, but because they’re just great ideas, executed brilliantly. The Temper Trap have achieved this not once but twice with the same song - the new version of ‘Sweet Disposition’ being, well, just as amazing as the first one really. Although admittedly with less CG gold rollerskating girls. But with added cymbal-as-defence-shield action.
So the fantabulous Ladyhawke has a new video. For the equally fantabulous Magic, the opening track from her fantabulous album. Yay!
We open with The Fabulous Ms. Ladyhawke brandishing a crystal ball. Bit unfortunate because Pip looks like she’s got a permanent black eye. This may have been a deliberate creative choice given the whole ‘pirate’ theme. If not then make-up have a bit to answer for.
None of this matters though because in the spectacular whoosh known as post-production glory we’re immediately treated to THIS horror:
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a man wearing very little clothes and unnecessary facepaint, bouncing around like a demented clown. Maybe he really is a demented clown. Maybe this right here is his life’s dream acheived, thanks to a 3 minute pop video. Who knows? Either way make up are really earning their day’s wages here.
Why would a pirate have their own crystal ball anyway? I thought the whole pieces of eight thing was them stealing so they could pay others to do that hippy crap.
And now we have the Big Bad and his prey, namely a very nice-looking young ‘sailor’ who’s tied up. At least I think that’s what he’s supposed to be. If you wear blue and a hat that makes you a sailor apparently. I wear blue and a hat all the time and people would literally die if I was ever expected to hoist sail, so their logic’s clearly a bit flawed.
So THIS is where Crazy Dancing Clown figures into it! I’m not sure who I’m more scared of, the pirate stylish enough to wear orange or the logical end result of the baby man from Jerry Springer: The Opera.
He just looks like a clone from Richard O’Brien’s lab. Crystal Maze: The GM Edition.
Seriously love, you’re fooling no-one with that eyeliner ‘tache. Also: if you’re tied up and in, you know, mortal peril and that, unless it’s some bizarro S&M game you might want to look a tiny bit more bothered, yeah?
Not to worry though, Mr. Non-Plussed, because Ladyhawke’s on her way with amazing strutting action! The screengrab doesn’t really show it but the rough gist is: gypsy girl pirate (I’ve decided she must be a hybrid) does Saturday Night Fever in the mystical woods. Which I think we’ll all agree is something the entire world has been missing.
The Tony Manero act is cut short when a horse rocks up. Who says videos have no budgets nowadays? That horse must have cost a fortune to hire and you can’t tell at all from the rest of the video… oh.
The ‘Hawke ditches the horse (and the producer weeps for the wasted budget) and conjures a bit more, in front of some perfectly circular tree tunnels. Trees aren’t really supposed to bend like that. You might want to get them looked at, that’s all I’m saying.
Here’s what The ‘Hawke’s conjuring up: AN ACTUAL FLOATING HEAD. That’s bloody amazing! If I could do that I wouldn’t be wasting it on a jobbing actor who apparently can’t summon up any emotion besides looking really bored. Which to be fair he acheives quite convincingly. You’d think they’d at least give him a mirror so he could reshape his eyebrows.
So this is where the horse went! Recycling - production budget win.
All of a sudden our heroine happens across this little monstrosity. Um. I don’t really know what this is but as far as cardboard goes it looks like it might be menacing enough to acheive whatever it is it’s aiming for. Well done, little cardboard creature! You reach for the stars and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Someone should tell The ‘Hawke to be careful up there. The last thing we need is for her to go splat like the poor skydiving girl on Hollyoaks. Although Pencil ‘Tache She-Man clearly wouldn’t give a monkey’s either way. How rude.
Hurrah! She’s arrived! To rescue her man! Who looks, er, exactly as fussed as he has throughout this entire ‘incident’, which is to say not at all. I assume this is meant to be some big old ‘role-reversal’ scenario where the girl does all the legwork and the bloke repays her with ‘face? bov? quit your whinging and go cook me some steak woman’. He’d have a point though: she clearly didn’t have to fight off that much, as the campest villain in existence and Demented Baby Man seem to have buggered off somewhere.
Got to feel bad that Pip didn’t get a big fight scene, but hey, the video’s over and everyone’s happy. Maybe the cardboard sea terror ate the villains. Yay for little cardboard sea terror! He acheived his dream!
I’ve seen this before of course, but I saw it again today and was reminded of the brilliance.
In short: I want fish that do this.
It’s clearly a prime example of genetic selection gone mad, but I want fish that do this.
In fact I’m going to buy my fishtank now. Anybody know a circus that specialises in seahorses?